Effect of traditional management practices on woody species composition and structure in montane subtropical forests of Meghalaya, Northeast India Effect of traditional management practices on woody species composition and structure in montane subtropical forests of Meghalaya, Northeast India

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Vol14 No.8: 1500-1512

TitleEffect of traditional management practices on woody species composition and structure in montane subtropical forests of Meghalaya, Northeast India

AuthorAabid Hussain MIR1; Krishna UPADHAYA2*

Addresses1 Department of Environmental Studies, North-Eastern Hill University, Shillong-793022, Meghalaya, India; 2 Department of Basic Sciences and Social Sciences, School of Technology, North-Eastern Hill University, Shillong-793022, Meghalaya, India

Corresponding authorupkri@yahoo.com

CitationMir AH, Upadhaya K (2017) Effect of traditional management practices on woody species composition and structure in montane subtropical forests of Meghalaya, Northeast India. Journal of Mountain Science 14(8). DOI: 10.1007/s11629-016-4145-6

DOI10.1007/s11629-016-4145-6

AbstractIn Meghalaya, northeast India, the local people have the tradition of managing forest resources since early ages. The management practice varies and there are forests with high degree of protection, where no extraction (sacred forests) is allowed. There are also forests with moderate- level of protection and -extraction (reserved forests) as well as forests with low level of protection and open extraction (village forests).The present study was conducted to understand the impact of this traditional management system on the level of human disturbance, and on community composition and structure of the forests in Khasi hills of Meghalaya. The result revealed that disturbance index was low, whereas species richness, density and basal cover were significantly high in forests with high degree of protection (sacred forest) than those with low protection (reserved and village forest). Majority of endemic and threatened plant species were restricted to sacred forests as compared to the other forest types. Though these practices have ensured the sustainable use of forest resources by the local people but due to increased human- pressure and -disturbances, more effective conservation strategies need to be undertaken. Therefore, providing alternatives for fuel wood to local people, environmental education, encouraging afforestation and developmental activities involving local communities are recommended.

KeywordsForest conservation; Human disturbance; Extraction; Restricted forest; Sacred forest; Village forest